I have met so many amazing friends through the world of baking and the common passion we share for food, specially Iranian food. Recently, I met Christina from Steppe und Stadt blog; an Austrian food blogger with a passion for Iranian food. Christina first contacted me about Kolompeh and quickly got my attention when she mentioned that she has tasted Kolompeh before!!! Lets be real, not even all Persians know what Kolompeh is, much less someone from Austria. I thought it will be nice to have her version of an Iranian recipe here on my blog. So lets go to her kitchen and sit at her table where she has prepared a lovely spread from Barbari bread, to Shirazi salad, to her own special dipping sauce and a choice of wine. It can't get any better than this...grab a glass of wine and enjoy her recipe and story:
As the blogger of ‘Steppe und Stadt’, an Austrian food blog, I am very happy to have met my wonderful blogger friend Fariba from ‘Zozobaking’ and that I have the chance to dedicate this article to her.
What does ‘Steppe und Stadt’ mean and represent? ‘Steppe und Stadt’ literally means ‘Steppe and City’, which is a reference to the grasslands in my home region; Burgenland, Austria and the city I live in, namely the great city of Vienna.
The Burgenland I grew up in was always a region of cultural, language and culinary diversity. The city of Vienna in turn as a melting pot of cultures and culinary identities reflects a similar spirit. The dialogue among cultures with its most common denominator the food we share is what I strongly believe in and cross-cultural topics interest me much!
My cooking is influenced by the traditional Burgenland kitchen, which is very much influenced by the Hungarian kitchen as well as by international influences in the City of Vienna – not to leave out the Iranian kitchen or Persian cooking! So my recipe for this post will be Iranian with a touch of a special spice from my hometown. Finally I’ll recommend a fine Austrian red wine.
But first some interesting facts about the region I come from:
Burgenland is the most easterly Austrian region famous for the largest endroheic lake in Central Europe,Lake Neusiedl, on one hand and for the great wines on the other. Because Burgenland in the time of the Habsburg monarchy belonged to Hungary, the culinary tradition and daily language is still much influenced by Hungarian culture. Burgenland in general is a land of great cultural diversity appreciated by many others and myself.
Lake Neusiedl, named after the City of Neusiedl where I come from, is a national park area and since the early 1990s together with the lake is registered with UNESCO’s world heritage program.
Because of the very mild climate Burgenland has developed into a great wine region and wines from Burgenland have won many international prizes. In terms of wine production, the region I come from can be compared with that of California albeit on a much smaller scale.
In turn, my hometown, Neusiedl am See, was until the 1960s very famous for its vegetables and herbs – and nowadays more and more people have become interested in these old traditions. I love gardening and working in our family’s vegetables, fruits and herb garden where I am also cultivating old Persian roses like the Damascus roses/Mohammadi roses. Here, I have learned about the tradition of marjoram cultivation in Neusiedl am See.
Until the 1960s, Marjoram in Austria was more or less only cultivated here. I have discovered that the Middle Eastern ‘za’atar’ (Oreganum Syriacum) Persian: مرزنجوش spice blend or one of its main ingredients is similar to a related herb here in the region. So, I took it as a challenge to create spice blend with Burgenland’s marjoram.
Finally some words concerning the wine I have chosen for this dish: ‘Heideboden 2013’ is a fine cuvée cultivated and pressed by the innovative wine grower Helmut Preisinger. He and his wife Gabriele own a winery situated in Gols, Austria’s biggest wine growing village. The wine is a cuvée out of Merlot and Blaufränkisch, the latter is a typical Austrian sort that creates very rich wines (70% Merlot, 30% Blaufränkisch). This rich and aromatic wine reminds of blackberries and cherries.
Yields: 4 small or two large bread | Prepare time: 2-3 hours | Bake time: 20 minutes
- 1-teaspoon honey (liquid)
- 300 ml Luke warm water
- 1/2 Ounce fresh yeast or7g dry yeast
- 1 lbs hard wheat flour or all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons or more olive oil
- Sesame seeds & Nigella seeds for garnishing
- Stir the honey in 150 ml water (5 Ounces) and add the yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes, and then stir well so that the ingredients dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a big bowl, make a whole in the center and add the dissolved yeast.
- With a wooden spoon stir some flour from the rim into the yeast mixture until you have a paste. Cover the pot with a kitchen towel and let rest for 20 minutes until the yeast starter has dissolved in a fluffy way.
- Pour in the rest of the water and the oil into the yeast starter, stir in the flour from the rim until you have thick, moist dough. If needed, add more water.
- Sprinkle your work surface with flour and knead the dough until is smooth and elastic.
- Put the dough in a greased pot and dab the dough with olive oil. Allow the dough to rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the dough doubles in volume. Pre-heat the oven to 420°F or 220°C . knead the dough quickly and let it rest again for 10 minutes.
- Form 4 small boule or two large ones, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes until doubled in volume.
- Dust your work surface & your baking tray with some flour. Flatten the boule with your hands, grove with your finger tips, and transfer the dough onto the baking tray. If you would like to make the traditional Barbari shape, once place on the baking tray hand-stretch the dough to the desired length. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame and nigella seeds. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 428° F or 220° C. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
Yields: 4-6 | Prepare time: 15 minutes
- 3-4 Persian cucumbers
- 3 tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion
- Olive oil
- Fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh mint
Cut cucumbers, tomatoes and the onion in very small cubes, mix the ingredients in a pot, add olive oil and fresh lime juice and spice up with salt and pepper. I think that everyone has to find his or her very own way in choosing the composition of ingredients - this is a matter of taste and tasting! However - the wonderful fresh vegetables and the lime juice make the salad a refreshing dish! By adding fresh mint the salad becomes even more aromatic!
Za´atar spice blend with olive oil
For my very personal mixture I used Burgenland’s marjoram (origanum majorana; Middle Eastern regions: majorana syriaca or oregano), roasted sesame for a woody aroma, and sumac for a lemony touch and mix this blend with olive oil – the combination is ideal for a taste of the countryside on a hot summer day!
Christina from Vienna
It's Fariba here again...As you might know, I'm not a bread baker, but I love the smell of fresh bread filling the kitchen. Barbari bread is one of my favorite Iranian breads and I've been on the search for a great recipe, so today I put Christina's recipe to test and I was so impressed. I really liked the texture of Barbari, I made mine the traditional Barbari shape & used my own herb mix to sprinkle on top. Hope you enjoy her recipe as well. Christina and I will be around to answer any of your questions here or on Instagram :) Don't forget to sing up so you won't miss any recipe.